Management of spittlebug populations Aeneolamia varia

From 2007, when the spittle Aeneolamia varies It was detected in the central area of ​​the Cauca River Valley (between Buga and Tuluá), the behavior of this cane pest is monitored.

From 2007, when the spittle Aeneolamia varies It was detected in the central area of ​​the Cauca River Valley (between Buga and Tuluá), the behavior of this cane pest is monitored.

Observations have shown that populations of the pest have spread to northern municipalities, such as Roldanillo, and that their damage potential can reduce the length of the cane stalks by up to 22% in places where the attack is high.

It was also established that between six and seven generations of spittlebug can occur Aeneolamia varies per crop cycle and that each generation can last between 50 and 60 days. The most critical attack periods are the first six months of crop age.

They also reveal that the attacks of the pest occur especially in the transitions from the dry to the rainy seasons or vice versa, since the permanent conditions of rain or drought do not favor it. As a result of these observations and previous research, the sugarcane agribusiness has monitoring and control alternatives with which the advance of the pest populations and their impact on crop production can be prevented.

Two ways of monitoring

To monitor the spittlebug populations, the permanent establishment of yellow sticky traps is recommended, because of one trap every 20 hectares, which must be read every week. In the event that more than 30 spittlebugs are registered per week per trap, sources of infestation must be determined, for which the installation of two traps per hectare (one trap every 150 meters) in the area detected with this population is recommended. .

Regarding nymphal sampling, two observation points are taken per hectare. At each point a strain (or a linear meter) is selected at random where the number of adults, the number of saliva and the number of stems are counted.

The combination of these two forms of monitoring allows to determine the levels of population in yellow sticky trap and the levels of saliva per stem. When any of the indicators shows an increase, control actions are defined.

Driving in alleyways and adjacent pitches

In the alleys and hamlets surrounding the cane fields, populations of spittlebugs can be established on grasses such as brachiaria sp., star grass (Cynodon nlemfuensis) and treadmill (rottboellia sp.).

To prevent these populations from passing into crops, the application of entomopathogenic fungi is recommended (Metarhizium anisopliae, CeMa 9236 Strains, CCMa 0906). Only in the event of outbreaks of the pest or very high infestations in areas surrounding the crop (more than 100 adults per week in the traps for more than three consecutive weeks) is the application of chemical insecticides recommended, taking care that in the surroundings of sources of water is conserved a strip of three meters from the banks.

To account for
    • At each observation and counting of adults, a removal of the counted adults or replacement of the trap should be made.
  • Conditions for using fungi and chemical insecticides:
    • Water quality: pH less than 6, hardness less than 120 ppm.
    • Use cone nozzles.
    • Soil moisture in field conditions.
  • The recommended systemic chemical insecticides here are of the ascending type. Its application is directed at the base of the plant so that they are taken by the roots and circulate towards the leaves, attacking nymphs and adults. Aerial application of this type of product would only work on adults that feed on the foliage.

Bibliographic reference

Gómez, LA 2007. Management of the spittlebug Aeneolamia varies in sugar cane crops in the Cauca river valley. Quarterly Letter 29 No. 2-3. p. 10-17.

To consult
  • Decree 1843 of 1991 on the use and management of pesticides.
  • Decree 3930 of 2010 on discharges to bodies of surface water.


GERMÁN VARGAS. Entomologist, Variety Program - Cenicaña.

YOLANDA GUTIÉRREZ. Biologist-Entomologist, phytosanitary director of the Incauca and Providencia sugar mills.

Information letter
Year 5 / Number 1 / August 2017Full text in version:
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